More results from Tuesday’s primaries

Welcome to the Thursday, May 12, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Reviewing the results of Tuesday’s elections
  2. A look at Kentucky’s May 17 primaries
  3. Candidate Connection update—survey responses from U.S. House candidates in Pennsylvania

Reviewing the results of Tuesday’s elections

Elections for offices within Ballotpedia’s coverage scope took place in four states on Tuesday, including statewide primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia. Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy election results:

  • Nebraska State Senate primaries: Primaries were held for 24 of the 49 seats in Nebraska’s unicameral legislature. Seven of the 24 primaries remain too close to call. Of the 17 callable races, seven had an incumbent on the ballot, all of which saw the incumbent advance to the general election. State legislative elections in Nebraska are nonpartisan, meaning all candidates for a particular seat appear on the same primary ballot and the top two finishers advance to the general election.
  • West Virginia State Senate primaries: Primaries were held for 17 of the 34 seats in the West Virginia State Senate Tuesday. There were two contested Democratic primaries, including the District 1 primary, in which Randy Swartzmiller (D) defeated incumbent Owens Brown (D) 53% to 47%. Brown is the ninth incumbent state legislator to lose re-nomination in a primary this year. There were also 11 contested Republican primaries, four of which had an incumbent on the ballot. Three of those races resulted in a win for the incumbent and the fourth is too close to call.
  • West Virginia House of Delegates primaries: Primaries were held for all 100 seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates. There were 43 contested Republican primaries, 25 of which had an incumbent on the ballot. Of the 15 callable primaries with an incumbent on the ballot, one resulted in the incumbent’s defeat—the District 90 primary between incumbents George Miller and Ken Reed. Miller defeated Reed 58% to 42%. There were also 16 contested Democratic primaries, three of which had an incumbent on the ballot. The incumbent won two of those primaries, while the third, the District 27 primary between incumbents Ric Griffith and Chad Lovejoy, remains too close to call.
  • Nebraska gubernatorial Republican primary: Jim Pillen defeated Charles Herbster, Brett Lindstrom, and six other candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor of Nebraska. Pillen had 34% of the vote to Herbster’s 29% and Lindstrom’s 27%. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote. Incumbent Pete Ricketts (R) is term-limited.
  • Nebraska Board of Education District 7 primary: Elizabeth Tegtmeier and incumbent Robin Stevens advanced from the nonpartisan primary for the District 7 seat on the Nebraska Board of Education with 62% and 20% of the vote, respectively. They will face one another in the nonpartisan general election in November.
  • West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District Republican primary: Incumbent Alexander Mooney (R) defeated incumbent David McKinley (R) and three other candidates in the Republican primary for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Mooney had 54% of the vote to McKinley’s 36%.

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A look at Kentucky’s May 17 primaries

Kentucky is one of five states holding statewide elections on May 17. Let’s take a look at what’s on the state’s ballot this year.

Congressional races

This year, Kentucky is holding elections for one of its two seats in the U.S. Senate and all six of its seats in the U.S. House. Six Republicans, including incumbent Rand Paul (R), and four Democrats are running for the seat. The fundraising leaders in each primary are Paul, with $20.4 million raised this cycle, and Charles Booker (D), with $3.4 million. No other candidate has reported raising more than $20,000.

All five Republicans representing Kentucky in the U.S. House are running for re-election, and all but District 1 incumbent James Comer Jr. face at least one primary challenger. The lone Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation, John Yarmuth (D), is not running for re-election. Two Democrats and seven Republicans are running to succeed Yarmuth in the 3rd district, which election forecasters rate Solid Democrat. The 3rd district is one of three in Kentucky with a contested Democratic primary this year.

State legislative races

Although Kentucky’s statewide executive offices are not up for election this year, elections are taking place for 19 of the 38 seats in the state Senate and all 100 seats in the state House. This year, 256 candidates filed for the 119 seats up; 168 Republicans and 88 Democrats. The 2.2 candidates per seat is an increase from 2.0 in 2020 but down from 2.4 in 2018. 

This year, there are 44 contested Republican primaries and 15 contested Democratic primaries between both of Kentucky’s legislative chambers. Of the 101 incumbents running for re-election, 34 face a contested primary, the largest number since at least 2014. In both 2016 and 2018, 18 incumbents faced primary challenges, while in 2020 that number was 13. 

The increased number of contested primaries is partially due to redistricting, which sometimes results in multiple incumbents being placed in the same district. This year, there are three primaries in Kentucky contested between two incumbents of the same party running in the same district, all for the state House. Two of those primaries are between two Republicans and one is between two Democrats.

Republicans have a 30-8 majority in the state Senate and a 75-25 majority in the House. Because the governor, Andy Beshear, is a Democrat, Kentucky has a divided government. The next election for governor will take place in 2023.

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Candidate Connection update—survey responses from U.S. House candidates in Pennsylvania

Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey asks candidates for federal, state, and local office to share what motivates them on a personal and political level.

As of May 10, 2022, we’re covering 63 races with final candidate lists in which all candidates have completed the survey. Thirteen of those races reached that milestone in the past week.

What’s new this week

This week, we’re featuring survey responses from two U.S. House primaries in Pennsylvania—one for the Democratic nomination and one for the Republican nomination.

Rick Coplen and Shamaine Daniels are the two candidates on the ballot in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District. The Harrisburg-area district is currently represented by Scott Perry (R), who is unopposed in the Republican primary. Election forecasters rate this seat Safe Republican, meaning Perry is very likely to win in November. In 2020, he defeated Eugene DePasquale (D) 53% to 47%.

Here’s how Coplen and Daniels answered the question, “Who are you? Tell us about yourself.”

Rick Coplen:

“My mother and grandfather, Mexican immigrants who fought to integrate public facilities in their hometown, instilled in me the values of hard work, service, and treating everyone with dignity. My working-class upbringing took me to West Point and international duty as an active-duty military officer.

I’m a husband of nearly 35 years, father of two extraordinary adult daughters, West Point and Princeton graduate, US Army combat (82nd Airborne in Panama) and peacekeeping (Bosnia) veteran, teacher of economics and strategic leadership (Elizabethtown College, US Army War College, US Military Academy at West Point), Chair, Rotary Veterans Initiative (college scholarships for veterans), and Board member, Employment Skills Center (adult literacy and job training skills).

Additionally, I am a published author and lecturer, Past President of the Rotary Club of Carlisle (led the Central PA relief effort after Superstorm Sandy), and Team leader supporting the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security with daily briefings in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

I am running for Congress to help bring everyone the opportunity to pursue their unique American dream. We need collaborative leaders who stand up for our democracy and bring us together for the common good. I am such a leader.”


“Shamaine A. Daniels is a three-term Councilwoman for the City of Harrisburg where she reduced red-tape and lowered fees for opening small businesses, doubled penalties for slumlords and invested in youth programming. She has also been an educator and attorney for well over a decade. About half of her legal career was spent defending workers’ rights and civil rights and the second half of her legal career has been spent helping American citizens and immigrants navigate our complex immigration system. She has consistently served the most vulnerable populations in our Commonwealth: Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, abandoned and neglected children, workers, seniors, individuals with disabilities.

Daniels migrated to the United States from Venezuela in her teens and received her B.A. in Political Science/International Relations and Sociology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. and M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati and its College of Law.”

Three Republicans are on the ballot in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District: Kathleen Coder, Jason Killmeyer, and Jeremy Shaffer. Located to the northwest of Pittsburgh, election forecasters rate this district a toss-up. Incumbent Conor Lamb (D) is running for U.S. Senate rather than seeking re-election, leaving the seat open.

Here’s how the three answered the question, “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?”:

Kathleen Coder:

“My biggest goal is making sure the people of the 17th district are represented well in DC. I will advocate for policies that benefit the people, not the special interest groups & bureaucrats. I will fight to bring more jobs & economic growth to this district by limiting government overreach & regulation. We are a resource rich region that could be pivotal in our country’s energy independence. I am also dedicated to securing our borders, pursuing election integrity, curbing the national debt, & maintaining a strong national defense. I am pro-life & pro-2nd Amendment. I am committed to ensuring that we are governing by the Constitution & protecting our country from the socialist movement.

I, like many in our district, am sick & tired of the ineffectiveness of our current leaders in DC. They claim to represent us, but all they provide are a lot of promises & no results. That’s why, when the new congressional map encompassed the entire region I have lived & worked in for the last 15+ years, I felt called to get involved. In fact, I am the only candidate on either side of the ticket that has a proven track record of results & relationships in both Allegheny & Beaver Counties. Bottom line–I am running because I see a need, not because I want a position. Ultimately, it is my goal to represent the people of District 17 well, restore people’s trust in their public servants, & provide good leadership. Let’s get back to what matters most – pursuing common sense for the common good.”

Jason Killmeyer:

“Constitutional Conservativism.”

Jeremy Shaffer:

“Keeping our Communities Safe Defending our Freedoms Educational Opportunities World-Class Health Care Securing the Border Ensuring Election Integrity Energy Independence An Effective Foreign Policy Investing in our Infrastructure Creating Economic Opportunities”

About Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Some other details about the 63 races where all candidates have completed the survey:

  • They are located in 22 states.
  • Fourteen of the 63 races are taking place in Texas.
  • Nine of the 63 races are general elections.
  • Of the 54 primaries and runoffs, 29 are for the Democratic nomination, 22 are for the Republican nomination, two are top-two primaries, and one is nonpartisan.
  • Twenty-four of the 50 are races for U.S. House.

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